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NFL Week 16 opening odds and early action: Cowboys a road favorite for key clash vs Eagles

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The NFL playoff race shifts into high gear with key divisional battles in Week 16. Covers checks in on opening odds and early action for four Week 16 games, with insights from John Murray, director of The SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas.

 

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5)

Someone’s gotta win the NFC East, and this is the game that will likely decide who that someone is. Dallas put a three-game SU slide in the rearview mirror while climbing back to .500 in Week 15. The Cowboys (7-7 SU, 8-6 ATS) battered the Los Angeles Rams 44-21 as 1-point home underdogs.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia had to scrap and scrounge at three-win Washington, but also found its way back to .500. The Eagles (7-7 SU, 5-9 ATS) got a touchdown with 26 seconds remaining to take a 31-27 lead, then got a scoop-and-score on the final play of the game. That play killed ‘Skins bettors as Philly won 37-27 giving 10 points. It was the only moment all game that the Eagles were covering.

“Everyone will be on Dallas after its performance in the win over the Rams,” Murray said. “The Eagles escaped two weeks in a row against the awful Giants and Redskins. They will need to really up their game to beat Dallas here.”

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-7)

In the offseason, not many would have pegged Buffalo as having a chance to tie for the AFC East lead in Week 16, but that’s most certainly the case. The Bills (10-4 SU, 9-4-1 ATS) bested Pittsburgh 17-10 as 1-point road underdogs in the Sunday nighter and now have the best spread-covering mark in the league.

Defending Super Bowl champ New England halted a two-game SU and three-game ATS skid. The Patriots (11-3 SU, 8-6 ATS) played a lackluster first half at Cincinnati, taking a 13-10 lead just before the break, but went on to a 34-13 victory laying 10.5 points.

“Both teams are now in the playoffs but have playoff positioning to fight for,” Murray said of motivations for this Saturday showdown. “The Patriots’ offense couldn’t do anything in their first meeting, and it doesn’t seem like much has changed for them on that side of the ball. We will be flooded with teasers and parlays of Patriots to 49ers.”

Per SuperBook policy, this game came off the board before the Bills-Steelers kickoff and will repost Monday morning.

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-6.5)

San Francisco learned how quickly fates can change at this stage of the year, dropping from the NFC’s No. 1 seed to No. 5 on Sunday. The 49ers (11-3 SU, 8-5-1 ATS), coming off a great win at New Orleans, suffered a stunning home loss to Atlanta, 29-22 as healthy 10.5-point favorites.

In a crazy finish, the Niners allowed a TD with two seconds left to fall behind 23-22, then gave up a scoop-and-score while lateraling around on the ensuing kickoff to account for the final score. Which, oh by the way, made Over bettors delirious and Under bettors sick, with a total of 50.

Defending NFC champ Los Angeles did itself more harm than San Fran in Week 15, further wrenching its playoff hopes. The Rams went to Dallas as 1-point favorites and got boatraced 44-21, halting a 3-1 SU and ATS upswing. Sean McVay’s squad is still No. 7 in the NFC, but is two games out in the win column to current wild cards Minnesota and San Francisco.

“San Francisco is really banged up right now and just fell out of first place with a loss to the Falcons,” Murray said. “They need this game to stay in the hunt for a first-round bye. The book will want the Rams outright.”

This is another Saturday matchup, in prime time with an 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff.

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)

Green Bay will look to remain solo first in the NFC North in the final Monday night game of the season. In Week 15, the Packers (11-3 SU, 9-5 ATS) beat Chicago 21-13 giving 4 points at frigid Lambeau Field, where the current No. 2 seed hopes to spend some time in January.

However, Minnesota can tie its division rival with a victory in this prime-time contest. The Vikings (10-4 SU, 8-6 ATS) went off as 1-point road favorites against the Los Angeles Chargers and coasted to a 39-10 victory Sunday.

“The Packers really struggled on offense in their win over the Bears. They’ll need to be much better to beat Minnesota here,” Murray said. “The winner will likely take the division, and the loser will have to go on the road for three rounds in the postseason to get to the Super Bowl.”

Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1

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Perhaps no team has been more fun to follow during the NHL playoffs than the Vancouver Canucks, and hockey bettors can still get the Canucks at +1,300 to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. Vancouver is coming off a thrilling series win against the defending champion St. Louis Blues, but now a much more difficult challenge awaits. The Vegas Golden Knights are +350 favorites to win it all, and they’ve certainly looked the part while dropping only one playoff contest.

Game 1 of this series gets underway Sunday, so we’re here to bring you our NHL picks and predictions in this Western Conference semifinal showdown.

Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting preview

Starting Goalies

Canucks: Jacob Markstrom – playoffs – 7-3, 2.44 GAA, .929 SV% (season – 23-16, 2.75 GAA, .918 SV%)

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner – playoffs – 5-1, 2.44 GAA, .904 SV% (season – 19-10, 2.89, .920 SV%)

If this game was actually played in Las Vegas, then Markstrom could easily spend a few hours performing with Cirque du Soleil. The 30-year-old dazzled against Blues with an eye-opening array of acrobatic saves and an impressive 7-3 record. He’ll need to provide more of the same against a dangerous Vegas squad.

The Knights will likely roll with Robin Lehner, who has taken over the spot as Vegas’s starter in the crease—and rightfully so. Still, the Knights have the luxury of having Marc-Andre Fleury as their “backup.” The five-time All-Star matched an NHL record this season with his 14th consecutive playoff appearance.

Injuries

Vancouver: Tyler Myers D (out), Tyler Toffoli RW (out), Micheal Ferland LW (out), Josh Leivo LW (out)

Vegas: Tomas Nosek LW (out)

Betting Trend to Know

Canucks are 0-6 in their last six Sunday games. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Golden Knights.

MONEYLINE PICK

The Canucks have been a force with the extra man during the postseason, converting 26.2% of their power plays. While the Knights are known for their offensive firepower, it’s their stingy defense that allows them to suffocate opponents—as evidenced by an 86.4% penalty kill during their playoff run. Vancouver is the only team in the league to never beat Vegas in regulation, going 0-11 all time. That’s something I just can’t ignore.

PREDICTION: Vegas ML (-175)

OVER/UNDER PICK

Each team is filled with loads of offensive talent. Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 11 goals thus far. Elias Pettersson has racked up 13 points, tied with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff lead.

The Knights can match Vancouver’s scorers, but they’re more balanced—Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Mark Stone have each lit the lamp four times during the postseason. The difference is on defense, where Vancouver has allowed the most high-danger chances of all remaining playoff teams.

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)

PROP PICK

Though I like Vegas to win, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks kept it close and continued their offensive success. I’ll take a flyer on Vancouver scoring at least three goals.

PREDICTION: Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)

Canucks vs Golden Knights Betting Card

  • Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-110)
  • Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)
NHL Parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Canucks vs Golden Knights picks, you could win $104.93 on a $10 bet?

Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook